A Smile and a Wink

I have come to understand that some people dislike emoticons. These are often the same people who are snobbishly against using exclamation marks to express enthusiasm or joy. Here is a song for all of them 😉 , a Swedish classic performed by Ulla Billquist, “Säg det med ett leende” (= say it with a smile) by Nils Perne, Sven Paddoc, Helge Rundquist.

(From Kurt Boehme´s Youtube channel.)

Säg det med ett leende och med en glimt i ögonvrån. Och ha överseende ifall man trampar dig på tån. Var som ett solsken i april och vänd den glada sidan till. Ja, säg det med ett leende och med en glimt i ögonvrån.

= Say it with a smile and a wink in your eye. Be indulgent if someone steps on your toe. Be like a sunshine i April and turn on the happy face. Yes, say it with a smile and a wink in your eye! 😀


The sister-in-law

My sister-in-law is an impressive person. Sixty years old – hard to imagine – and still in better shape than any person I know, playing tennis (and winning!) at elite level. She is also very kind and gentle and generous. I don´t have to tell you she is beautiful – my sketch indicates it, I think, though it doesn´t do her justice.

Watercolour sketch on Fabriano 210g.

People in motion

IMGP8869I think I enjoy sketching people more than anything else; I find faces and bodies very expressive and, well, moving. While it is satisfying to work for some length of time and even catch a fair likeness of someone posing (which is so rare that it practically never happens) I also enjoy the challenge of trying to catch movement. I practiced over the weekend on my ever-restless nephews and even my sister and brother-in-law, and it was, I confess, very satisfying to hear my sister say: “that´s exactly like him, to hold his hand like that”.



Gothenburg visit

I went on a short trip this weekend to Gothenburg, where my sister lives with her family. Very practically, we both live less than half an hours drive from a major airport. It was fun to see them all again, and I was relieved to find the nephews not much changed since last time I saw them; I used to see them much less often before, and children change a lot in a year or two. I´d rather go for short visits often than long visits rarely.

S6306916 (2)On Sunday we went to a car boot sale in a parking lot adjacent to Slottskogen (= the palace forest) which is a large, partly wild park in the city. I found some amazingly cheap little frames (new!) that will come in handy at the outdoor art exhibition in August, and the nephews found some toys they liked. The older boy is soon getting his own room, and he is thinking of how to furnish it. A plastic lizard has been aquired.


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S6306983 (2)We then walked through the park to Barnens Zoo (= the children´s zoo) where we watched the seals, petted the goats and admired the fancy hens. We had some lunch in an open-air café (springtime!) and played in a gigantic playground with what seemed like thousands of children intoxicated with spring-feelings. Or rather, the boys played and mummy and auntie got a rare and treasured chat. Everyone always say that the older one gets, the more one values one´s siblings and I find that it is true.

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There were two goats on the loose among the crowds; one minded his own business and seemed not to even notice the children petting it, while the other was very friendly and here plays lapdog with a guy.

I was sad to go and hope to return in the fall.


Psychological reality

Title: Ergospace.


The other day, I had a few minutes to spare, so I popped in at the Art Gallery at the Culture House. There were several artists that just didn´t catch my attention at all, they seemed to me more concerned with aesthetics than message. While I enjoy beauty, or even ugliness if it is well done, I am more attracted to pieces that make me stop and think for a while, or feel something – that concerns me, frankly. Ida-Lovisa Rudolfsson, who occupies the largest hall in the gallery with an exhibition called “Mitt i skogen finns ett vardagsrum” (= in the middle of the forest is a livingroom), makes art that does concerns me, a lot.

I would like to describe this as textile paintings. There is appliqué, embroidery, and painting on cloth, and the images are full of familiar things: vacuum cleaners, thermoses, cinnamon buns, laundry. The landscapes are barren and full of traps – the ground opens into large black holes that seem bottomless, and some of the characters are laying traps for others, baited with cinnamon buns, for example. Some characters seem to search for others, some are hiding. Everyone seems isolated. It all seems familiar, in an eerie way.

According to the exhibition programme she has been called “the Roy Andersson of cross-stitches” and yes, there is that same kind of aesthetic and humour as you find in his films. You find more information about her on her website.

(And sorry about the crappy photo quality, I just had my phone camera.)

Title: Advent. I find this painting particularly moving. The old woman is having a party, but no one has come. Even her bird has left its cage.